Whatcha Collecting?

Everyone collects things to some degree, and most of us collect a lot of things we don’t need or use any longer. I enjoy talking to people with bizarre collections. Some folks enjoy things I never thought of finding delight in like antique wooden toys or tea cups. Something makes us collect things.

We collect to feel “value”!

My favorite thing to collect as a young person was bottles. I’ve had all sorts of bottles, big and small, old and new, hand blown and factory made; but I always had some kind of attraction to a bottle before I would collect it. When my parents or friends would buy a bottle for me, they would generally tell a story about how they got it or how unique it was. This made the bottle special in my eyes.

 In collecting things, I’ve come to realize some things have value and other things have significance… knowing the difference is vital. I think that is true in life as well; we see things that we think are important in the eyes of others and there is an attractive pull toward it. An example might be the “Beanie Baby” craze of a few years ago. Other things carry enormous significance, they hold a position in our hearts. Maybe there are memories attached to the items or they were in the family for a long time. I have a drop leaf table that my Great Aunt Georgia had, who was a missionary in Africa. It has a value because of its age, but it carries significance to me, because it was my Aunt Georgia’s table. 

Some collections become attachments?

I am not very proud of this, but I also tend to collect things like painful memories, goofy ideas, foolish mistakes, and offenses from the past. For the most part, these collected items need to go, be forgiven or dumped in the garbage. Inevitably, I find this stuff hindering my identity and distracting my life from the purposes of God. While I think I do a pretty good job of cleaning out my closets, I know there are some things in my mind I have to avoid holding onto at all cost. I just cannot collect things that will hinder me spiritually. I call these things attachments, because they weigh me down in my Christian walk.

What do you collect?

 The problem with collecting is that we can allow the worthless stuff to get in the way of the significant. If that is the case, it might be time to do some spiritual and emotional house cleaning. I’m confident that all of us could benefit from a good old trip to the dump. Take a few minutes to ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What do I collect?
  2. What do I need to let go?

 If you will think about these questions… then take action on your answers. You will be more successful, almost immediately.

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